A committee from the National Council of Human Rights conducted its own investigation into torture claims from a group of imprisoned Hirak Rif activists, including Nasser Zefzafi.
Rabat – The National Council of Human Rights (CNDH) has conducted an exclusive investigation into torture claims made by several Hirak Rif activists, who are subject to disciplinary measures for refusing to comply with prison orders.
The prison administration placed the prisoners, including Nasser Zefzafi, in solitary confinement and removed privileges like family visits and telephone communications for a period of 45 days, Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported on November 4.
The General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) denied that prisoners were subjected to “any ill-treatment.”
The office of Morocco’s public prosecutor also issued a statement on Tuesday, November 5, expressing readiness to re-investigate the case if Zefzafi has new evidence about torture claims.
In response to the situation, the CNDH also made its exclusive investigation through sending a delegation to several prisons where Hirak Rif prisoners are held.
The delegation visited on November 7-8 two prisons in Meknes, Ras al Ma prison in Fez, and three others in Taounate, near Fez, and Taza and Guercif.
During the visit, the members of the delegation were able to visit the cells where the six activists subject to disciplinary measures are held.
The delegation also had access to surveillance videos to check whether the prisoners were subjected to any kind of torture.
The delegation also conducted interviews with prisoners separately, carrying out a systematic examination of all the prisoners concerned.
The CNDH concluded that after looking at videos, the delegation found that the six prisoners refused to “leave the [prison] hall next to the surveillance camera on October 31.”
The activists also refused to return to their cells for more than two hours, “something that the prisoners confirmed during separate interviews.”
The delegation added that the situation resulted in “an altercation between prison officers and two prisoners.”
The incident resulted in minor bruises on “the bodies of two prisoners.”
The CNDH argued that “no evidence of torture against the prisoners has been found.”
The CNDH, however, condemned the “deplorable state of the disciplinary cells” in the Toulal 2 and Ain Aicha prisons. The CNDH found that the cells do not meet international standards.